At 28 years old, Lauren was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She went for a colonoscopy and they found cancer blocking her entire bowel. Three weeks later she went in for surgery and had it removed. “I had some post-operative complications that saw me with a colostomy bag for about six months. Then over the years after that, I had a lot of issues from those surgeries with pain from adhesions.”
For 12 years Lauren had been clear of everything, until earlier this year. Doctors found five centimetres of a suture that was still in there from 12 years ago. She went home thinking it had been resolved, but woke up a few days later screaming in pain. She went back to the hospital and they found the old adhesions from the surgery had compressed her small bowel from the swelling of the procedure, and it constricted the bowel. “So I had a bowel obstruction, which is quite life-threatening for most people.” She spent 16 days in hospital. “The entire time I’m in there I’m just crying out to God. I’m going ‘where are you in all of this?’ Like, we’ve been through so much already and you’ve been so faithful and even with the cancer diagnosis there was a feeling in my spirit. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
The doctor told Lauren she needed surgery, and she felt this flood of fear and anxiety. “I’m thinking, am I going to come out with a colostomy bag again? Am I going to have that for life? And I’m like, Lord why can’t you just take this from me?” But God showed Lauren that He was there and everything would go well. Talking to her anaesthetist she found out he was also a Christian, and one of the nurses had worked with the last doctor that she trusted. “At that moment, I was like this is what I needed because I knew going under the knife with a really calm mindset really impacts your recovery. So I was able to go off to sleep and the words from one of the chaplains who had visited came to me, it was Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
“God’s just good. That feeling in the spirit that you get is always there, we just have to quiet ourselves to get to the point where we can hear Him. Because when we’re too busy crying out and going, ‘where are you?’ We miss Him. So this has been a really great lesson for me and I hope that inspires others as well, just to know that He doesn’t always show up in the way that we expect Him to. He shows up in the way that He knows He needs to.”
Listen to her full conversation with Bec and Jeziel below.